Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb didn’t intend to open a pizzeria when they scooped up the space at 2723 Wilshire Boulevard. The initial plan was to use the kitchen to relieve the overworked ovens at Huckleberry, their bustling bakery and cafe a mile away.
But one thing led to another, a pizza dough was developed and a wood-burning Mugnaini oven was installed, and thus, Milo & Olive came to be. Milo, by the way, is the name of the couple’s son. Olive, on the other hand, is just a name that they really liked.
Milo & Olive’s stupendously good pastries, seasonal small plates, and delightful pizzas are reason enough to visit, but it took Chef Walter Manzke taking over the stoves to get me and my friends to finally come in. The former Church & State chef and soon-to-be chef-owner of République is temporarily overseeing the kitchen since executive chef Evan Funke departed.
The menu hasn’t changed much since his arrival and probably won’t for the most part. According to Chef, he’s mostly here to keep the kitchen organized and to make sure that the food is up to snuff.
With only 24 seats in the restaurant and no reservations taken, our party of three faced a 45 minute wait when we arrived sometime past 7 on a weekday evening. After strolling up the street and grabbing drinks at The Charleston, we were seated at one of the communal tables.
To start, we shared a petite serving of marinated artichokes ($11) minimally adorned with baby spinach, toasted pine nuts, capers, golden raisins, and goat cheese.